RAIL LINK: Plans lodged for Northumberland Park train station
Plans to return passenger train services between Newcastle and Ashington are one step closer as proposals for a railway station in North Tyneside are lodged with the council.
The £162m project to create a passenger rail link between south-east Northumberland and Newcastle will connect to the Tyne and Wear Metro at Northumberland Park and at Newcastle’s Central Station.
Now, proposals for a single platform railway station at Northumberland Park have been lodged with the authority.
The new stop would be built next to the existing Metro station and would be accessed from Algernon Road via stairs or a lift.
If it goes ahead it will be one of six new railway stations built on the route, which would also stop at Seaton Delaval, Newsham, Bebside, Bedlington and Ashington.
The line is expected to deliver economic benefits between £360m and £470m. The target is for services to start running in early 2023.
And a planning statement submitted to the authority estimates that by 2039 the new line is expected to yield £1.45m per year from ticket sales.
It also said that the new station would allow people to travel to their workplaces as well as access to the Metro network.
The statement said: “The proposed development will strengthen the role of Northumberland Park as a district centre.
“The proposed station will improve access [in] South East Northumberland to key employment sites within the catchment of Northumberland Park. By improving access to jobs, the proposed development is likely to increase the attractiveness of Cobalt and other employment sites within the economic corridor, as a place to work and invest.”
The document also said the new station would be built relatively quickly with construction expected to take four months.
In February Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes warned that the Northumberland line won’t integrate with the Metro.
He said passengers won’t be able to transfer easily onto the network after the Government cut funding for a Oyster-card style ticket for the North.
This came after a long-planned project to provide smart tickets that can be used on the various train, bus and tram systems in various parts of the North had to be scrapped.
Coun Forbes, who represents the North of Tyne combined authority on TfN, said the ending of the smart ticketing system undermined the project.
North Tyneside Council is expected to decide on the application by late April.
Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter
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